Welcome to another edition of 2013 MLB Season Preview – Daily Fantasy Baseball Strategy.
With the baseball season just around the corner, we’ll go through the roster of every MLB team and break it down from a daily fantasy baseball standpoint. Which players can help your team win, and which ones will you want to avoid in the first couple of weeks?
The final AL Central team in our previews is the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins are coming off their second disappointing season in a row after having won the division in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010. They finished last season with 66 wins, which was a three-game improvement from 2011. Minnesota traded away two centerfielders in Denard Span and Ben Revere and acquired pitchers Vance Worley and prospect Alex Meyer in those respective trades. They should get a full healthy season from Justin Morneau, but this team has too many questions to answer. This year’s Twins looks very similar to their version last year, and I expect them to end in last place again.
Joe Mauer – C: Mauer returned back to form last year after a sub-par, injury-plagued 2011. He hit .319/.416/.446 in 147 games last season. He performs better against righties, hitting .336/.428/.490 last season against them. He doesn’t have exceptional power, but his batting average and OBP numbers make him a very interesting play. He will be in a high salary tier, but Mauer should give you solid numbers on a regular basis.
YOU SHOULD AVOID
Jamey Carroll – 2B: Carroll hit .268/.343/.317 in his first season in Minnesota last year, representing his worst season since 2007. He has absolutely no power, and at age 39 you can’t expect any major improvement. Carroll is a notably slow starter with bad April numbers each year, so he should not be an option in your daily fantasy baseball lineup, even at minimum price.
Ryan Doumit – DH: Doumit had a solid season by his standards when he hit .275/.320/.461 in 134 games. He has very good power, but his game isn’t suited for daily fantasy. His low OBP can hurt your team more often than not. If his price is low enough, he might be worth a look in a high risk GPP lineup, but you can probably find better options.
Trevor Plouffe – 3B: Plouffe displayed surprising power last season when he hit .235/.301/.455 with 24 HR in 422 at bats. Don’t be fooled by all these home runs, though: there are no guarantees he can repeat these numbers. Even if he does hit a few, you really don’t want to play a guy with an OBP hovering around .300. He is also a very slow starter as well, so we can expect his less than stellar OBP under .300 in April. Look elsewhere for your third baseman.
Kevin Correia – SP: Correia will play in the AL for the first time this year after spending ten years in the NL. He posted a 4.21 ERA for the Pirates. It’s questionable how he will perform in the AL, but even if he manages to repeat his solid ERA, his 4.6 K/9 over the last two seasons greatly limits his fantasy upside in a daily lineup.
Mike Pelfrey – SP: Pelfrey is another pitcher coming from the NL. He managed to start just three games before he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in May. His recovery is going well, and he should be ready for Opening Day, but there is a real concern about how good he will be. There is no reason to risk playing him in the first couple of weeks until he shows he is healthy and back into form.
PITCHER/HITTER MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Darin Mastroianni – CF: Mastroianni is an interesting player. He hit just .252/.328/.350 in 163 AB, but he was much better against lefties with .288/.377/.333 in 66 AB. It is definitely a small sample size, but he is set to play his first full season this year after Span and Revere were traded. He stole 21 bases in limited playing time, and even though he doesn’t hit for power his fantasy upside is intriguing. He should be near the minimum price and could become one of the best cheap plays, especially against southpaw starters.
IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT:
Justin Morneau – 1B: Morneau suffered a horrible concussion midway through 2010 season, an injury that almost ended his career. He came back to have a solid 2012, and it looks like he is slowly coming back to his All Star form. If he shows good form while playing for Canada in the WBC, he may be worth a look as his price should be low enough after struggling the last two seasons. He is much better vs. RHP, so those are the matchups in which you will want to target him.
Vance Worley – SP: Worley is also coming over from the NL, and he is one of the biggest mysteries coming into the season. He had a great rookie year in 2011 with a 3.01 ERA, but he regressed to a 4.20 ERA last year. With the change of leagues, it is hard to predict which Worley will show up in 2013. While I wouldn’t pay full price for him, at a lower salary he may be a good high risk, high reward play for the GPP.
Hope you’ve enjoyed our Minnesota Twins preview. Stay tuned for other MLB 2013 season previews, and check out our other articles here at Daily Fantasy Radio!